I am susceptible to the existential notion of self — existence precedes essence. Accordingly, I am what I have done. My single greatest adult accomplishment is to have raised two kids, one of each flavor. My daughter just graduated from Columbia University and Lewis and Clark College with bachelor’s degrees in Environmental Engineering and Chemistry respectively. My son is a Junior at University of Maine, Orono and working on an Environmental Studies degree. They are well launched.
I graduated from Sheldon Jackson College, in Sitka Alaska in 1988. My connection to Alaska extends back to World War II. My Grandfather and Grandmother lived in Kodiak during the war. My Grandfather built the refrigeration on the Naval base. My Grandmother was the Postmistress. My Mother was born in Kodiak in 1945. Their lives took them to Southern California after the war, and it was there that I was born and raised. But Alaska was always part of the family mythology. So, I chose to go to college in Alaska. However, I met my spouse and her family lived on the East coast, and so before I was done with Alaska, we relocated to Maine. I worked 20 and change years at an elite liberal arts college. The last four years as an Assistant Director. I was completely burnt out and desperate to return to Alaska. Last fall I took a position with Bristol Bay Campus, in Dillingham Alaska. I no longer have a good work-life balance as I let hobby’s and interests go and instead prioritized work and graduate studies. This winter I realized, during the holiday break, I had too much time on my hands and so purchased some acrylic paints and started drawing and painting again. Painting gave me a creative voice in college of which I was previously unaware. Rather than a picture of myself I offer this attempt at sunrise over the Nushagak (if you care SoundCloud and LinkedIn offer a professional headshot, though now I am grayer).
A third grader could do better. If there is any consolation, it is that I have not put paint to canvas since 1988. But, it feels good to be learning again.